ACMI Melbourne Dreamworks Animation Exhibition

ACMI Melbourne Dreamworks Animation Exhibition

After landing in Melbourne with my wife, we took the train into downtown and stumbled upon the temporary Dreamworks Animation Exhibition at the Australian Center for the Moving Image. We first saw the penguins from Madagascar and then found out about the exhibit.

Travel Date: October 8th, 2014

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The entire exhibit was in one giant room inside of the moving image center. The room displays some of the technology, story boards and drawings behind all of the most popular Dreamwork movies. It was really cool to see many of the sketches. A sketch can be quick 1 minute black and white sketches or elaborate colored drawings.

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The first picture below shows the number of story boards for a given movie. Each story board is drawn to show how the scene will change. Some have only 20000 while the larger piles represent 50000 storyboards. In the 2nd and third picture was video screens of the story board and the final movie side by side. It was really cool to see the level of detail in the storyboard that is reflected in the movie, such as Kung Fu Panda’s facial expressions when he misses catching the dumpling in his mouth. In the below third picture, he has the dumpling but quickly snatched away. There is a story board that shows the dumpling vanishing and then the next story board shows him being sad.

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For “How to Train Your Dragon,” they had a few exhibits. One of them (not shown below) was a miniature model of the Viking hometown. They used it to help them film the town in the bigger panning scenes.


Outside of the exhibit, there was a history of moving image technology, including the very first TV, video games, and other video technology. It was pretty interesting to browse movie related equipment from the 80s. There was this really cool exhibit (2nd picture below) that shows each individual piece of the display and when it spins, it shows some birds jumping and splashing into a bucket with other birds flapping on the bottom. It is the perfect representation of moving images.


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This was very similar to the “The Science Behind Pixar” exhibit in the Science Museum in Boston. I am more of a fan of Pixar than Dreamworks, but the exhibit was very well done.

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